The patient with a malfunctioning ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt and signs of an abdominal mass can be effectively evaluated using ultrasound as the initial screening examination. Diagnostic ultrasound is a modality that can rapidly, safely, and inexpensively define the nature and location of a developing mass relative to the peritoneal end of the shunt.
Report of a Case.—A 5½-year-old girl was admitted to the hospital with clinical findings suggestive of raised intracranial pressure. She had been born with hydrocephalus and meningomyelocele, and a VP shunt procedure was performed at 1 week of age. Prior to the current admission, she had had many hospitalizations for corrective orthopedic procedures as well as varied medical problems.
Five days prior to presentation at our hospital, she suffered a respiratory arrest at home. She was resuscitated, hospitalized locally, and treated for clinical pneumonia and a urinary tract infection. She experienced multiple respiratory arrests during the